PSE’s Phillip Dalrymple’s 52-Inch Caribou
Editor’s Note: Phillip Dalrymple of Tucson, Arizona, and his family had a history with Jennings bows. For Dalrymple to break from the tradition of shooting Jennings bows and start shooting PSE bows back in 1983 was almost a major family problem. But since the switch, he’s never looked back – and today is one of the nation’s top bowhunters.
In 2005, John Shepley of PSE put together a big friends and family kind of hunt with Safari Nordik in Quebec, Canada. On the first afternoon, Corky Richardson, his dad George and I were able to get out on a caribou hunt. Corky decided he was going to film the first day and hunt the second day. We were trying to get episodes for the TV show. Corky and I tried to sneak in and get a shot on this caribou bull. He didn’t really have wide antlers, but he had incredibly palmated antlers. George decided to stay back and not interfere with our stalk. George stood on a steep trail and watched us make the stalk. I think he knew that Corky and I probably would spook the caribou, which we did. The caribou walked right by George, and he shot him with his PSE bow. This was a really nice caribou that made Pope & Young. A few people shot caribou with rifles, but almost everybody hunted with a bow.
With the licenses we had, we could have shot 36 caribou during a period of 5 days with 18 hunters. We actually took 32 caribou on the hunt. For some of the people on the hunt, these caribou were the first big game animals they had taken. After George took his caribou, we spotted a big bull with double main beams. This caribou was the first I’d ever seen with double main beams. So, Corky and I went after him. When we finally reached the spot where we thought we could cut the caribou off as he was feeding, I was able to get off a shot and take that double-main-beamed bull. Even though he wouldn’t make the record book, he was so unusual that he made a fine trophy for me.
The next day was Corky’s day to hunt, and we were seeing lots of caribou. So, I started filming Corky. We found this large group of caribou coming down off a ridge, feeding down toward the river. We got on this little point where below us was a basin. Caribou were coming around the point and down toward the basin. The caribou were splitting the point, with one group going to the left and the other group going to the right, passing from 20 to 35 yards on both sides of us. I kept pointing out caribou that I thought Corky ought to shoot. Corky kept turning down every caribou I suggested he shoot. Finally, he said, “Look up on the hill!” There was a caribou on the hill that had a 52-inch inside spread of the main beam. He was incredible! He was unlike any other caribou we’d seen. He had the widest spread of any caribou out of the thousands of animals we’d seen.
We waited and waited for the caribou to come down, so Corky could get a shot, but he didn’t. That caribou turned and went in a different direction with a couple of other bulls. We chased that caribou over 10 different ridges to try to catch up to him, traveling over a mile. Finally the big bull and the other bulls with him lay down to rest. They were in a little bowl and didn’t give us any way to approach them without being seen or smelled. There was no way we could get close enough to shoot. Corky finally said, “Look, we’re not going to get that caribou. Let’s forget about filming. You go in one direction and hunt, and I’ll go in the other direction. We’ll film tomorrow. I don’t see any reason for you not to hunt, because we’re not going to get the caribou we came after.”
So, we split up. I finally lay down and took a nap. When I woke up I didn’t know where Corky was. Someone decided to sneak in and try to take that big bull bedded down in the bowl, but they spooked the caribou out of the bowl. When I woke up, I spotted a nice bull slowly feeding down a basin and he stopped at 25 yards. I was at full draw, getting ready to shoot this caribou, when I saw the big wide bull that Corky and I had left in the bowl. Instead of aiming and taking the caribou I meant to take, I waited for the chance to take the 52-inch wide caribou. When he came by me, I shot him with my PSE Vengeance. When Corky saw that I’d taken the big bull he and I had chased together, he said, “You shot that bull out from under me.” And, even today, he still tells people that I took the bull he was supposed to take. The bull was 52-inches wide but had some deductions, because he was too wide. He was a Pope and Young caribou that scored 340 points.
Tomorrow: PSE’s Phillip Dalrymple and His Antelope Buck with the Heart-Shaped Antlers
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